A 51-year-old man died from injuries sustained in an industrial accident at Vinylplex Inc., a Pittsburg, Kan.-based PVC pipe extruder for potable water and sewer applications.
The victim, Harley “Rusty” Burch Jr., was found by a co-worker immediately after the accident happened about 2:10 p.m. Sept. 23, according to Major Brent Narjes of the Pittsburg Police Department.
“One of the machines at the manufacturing plant made contact with a part of his body,” Narjes said, declining further comment about how Burch was fatally injured.
The victim was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The case was turned over to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration for further investigation.
Vinylplex opened in 1971 to serve the growing rural water market. The facility houses eight extrusion lines capable of producing 75 million pounds of pipe annually, the company website says.
The company released a statement describing Burch as “our long-time employee and good friend.”
“We are deeply saddened by Rusty's death and are cooperating fully in the OSHA investigation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Rusty in their time of loss.”
Vinylplex will be closed for the memorial service, the statement also says. The business is a wholly owned subsidiary of GRB Investments Inc. with distributors in 15 states.